All Beliefs are Welcome Here!
I am nearly finished reading DJ Conway's A Witch's Guide to Astral Realms. Honestly, I wish I had never bought this book. It is not without some amount of useful information, but in the mean time, it is filled with a silly, petty use of pronouns, (her/him and she/he instead of he/she or him/her, or just saying "them") nearly constant sexist references, and, considering the writing style, leaves me seriously wondering how much first-hand knowledge and experience the author actually has; that she didn't just read or plagiarize from someone else. Also, the book is poorly written and if anything, really just serves more as a vehicle for the author's opinion of the topic, rather than more of a how-to of the topic, if not outright putting out some agenda.
Dj Conway makes it very obvious, her hatred of men. The pronouns thing, I really could just let go, because that's really not a big deal; but nearly every example she gives on how to try out the techniques, involves a cheating husband. She even talks about her first marriage and how much of a living hell it was, and how controlling her mother was, right up until she died. She also does not waste an opportunity to praise achievements by women in the absence of men, such as more than occasionally mentioning about an Amazonian-like society, man free, that supposedly had preserved peace for over 1500 years, in some part of the world that few if any real historical sources would likely back up. Now Conway, I'm sorry that you reacted negatively to situations that you chose to put yourself in, but a real writer tends to write more responsibly and professionally, and leaves out personal agendas from any book that is a how-to on astral projection and/or witchcraft. (or should I have said "or/and" ?)
I am not as familiar with Silver Ravenwolf's work, but I hear from others that she is criticized for some/many of the same things that Conway is criticized for. I want to be clear, this is not a discussion to rip on women or femininism; there are some very good female authors out there, Dion Fortune, Doreen Virtue, Michelle Belanger, Freya Aswynn, etc. that write responsibly and well, and leave their own personal antisocial issues out of books that are intended to help people learn in a positive way about witchcraft, Paganism, or energy work; because that is the point.
Keeping these things in mind, I have a question for all the Dianics and Pagan feminists out there...
What is your opinion of Ravenwolf, Conway, and the other authors I mentioned?
Before anyone else mentions it, I really don't care if me using the word "lesbian" offends anyone. I use the term loosely, learn to take a joke. I figured it was less offensive than "bull-dyke"
I am not as familiar with Conway as I am Ravenwolf, and the one Conway book I have read was absent of that hatred (can't remember which right now.) Ravenwolf does the typical thing mostly: plays up the Goddess, channels her hate to 'the Patriarchy' and presents herself as a hypocrite. She mostly makes a career out of slamming Christianity and other major religions.
I am a feminist. I do not believe women are superior, but are equal to men. I align more with masculine energy than female energy. I believe if we are to get anywhere as a pagan subculture we need to reclaim the God. Up-playing the Goddess is detriment to us in my opinion. Women need to embrace their masculine nature and not be ashamed of it. The Goddess is not the cornerstone of Paganism at large and should not be treated as such.
I am sorry that you read an author who is a man-hater. I'll be sure to avoid Conway in the future. I hate sexism against men. No one has the right to be sexist. Period.
I am the same way Aikaterine. I believe in the equality of the sexes. The moment we put one gender over another it causes a lack of balance. I believe the goddess and the god are even and partners in the flow of the world. I dislike when one gender shows hatred and slander against the other. any author who shows such an agenda should be ashamed of themselves. Women who bash men are a shameful creature that brings down our gender. Men who bash women are equally disgraceful.
My goddess is Diana but I am not a wiccan nor do I believe she has anything to do with the hatred of men. That comes from human women. Diana might of lived chaste and free of a husband as the stories go, But she was said to mate with the horned god AND her she cherished her twin brother Apollo. How can she hate men when she adored so many. And we cannot forget the story of Orion, in most versions he was her companion and almost love. Or Endymion. Anyway I am digressing.
I must agree with you. For the record, I'm not accusing Ravenwolf of being a lesbian, this post was for people that fit that category, the man hating lesbians and their opinion of those two authors. But, it would really not surprise me if Conway was one, based on her writings.
I mentioned Doreen Virtue because she has a lot of history, she has been around for a while. The lightwork stuff tends to be naive and very one sided, so you make a very good point, I probably shouldn't have mentioned her.
I'll try and do the best I can to address your issues:
Re: The idealist matriarchy view of prehistory. Think of it as the Dianic version of the Garden of Eden, or of pre-Christian Ireland. It's the Dianic version of the "time before" archetype, not necessarily a literal thing.Do all Celtic pagans hate Christians because they idealize that period? No.
Of course to those who come from "balance" traditions are going to think Dianism is out of whack. But that kind of balance is not what Dianism is about. It is about giving women something of their own in a world that is hostile to them. It's not about you as a man personally, or the male gender at all. That's part of the point.
Are there things that border on man-hating? Depends on who you ask. I will tell you this: Very few Dianics i know, and I know a few, actually hate men. Some are even straight and happily married! The bottom line is that fundamentalists of any tradition are going to wind up getting things wrong. But even Z Budapest practices with men now! Dianics get a bad rap-- all they want to do is point out that women have value whether or not they have men in their lives.
Not all of what you are reading is man-hating. It it should not be objectionable that women can get things done on their own nor to "praise achievements by women in the absence of men." That's self-sufficiency.
She/he is not any less grammatically correct than he/she. I'm not sure why you find it petty.
Yes, the Amazon stuff is bunk, but much of what you take issue with is just empowerment stuff. Fluff with no basis in fact, or alternatively Myth. I can't say because I'm not familiar with that book.
I don't read Conway personally and that's just preference. I wouldn't really even classify her as a dianic per se. Would I find it annoying if I picked up a book about Astral Projection and got someones personal tradition, sure. Surprised that you called out Ravenwolf in your title without giving her a read.
If you can keep an open mind, read Starhawk, she's a much better writer.
On a side note, please be careful about using the term "lesbian" in an underhanded way, especially if the person you are writing about has a husband and cannot be such. It makes it seem (though not intended to be, I assume) like an insult to even be a lesbian... and the may turn off Dianics who you want to be commenting on your post. :)
Hope this helps.
Thank you for your response. The title of my post was meant to be slightly inflammatory, in order to get attention, so people would read it and give comment on the points I'm making. I have nothing against lesbians personally, though I have been mistreated by them in the workplace. It seems that sexist people, men and women, who are in a place of power, really have something to prove to everyone.
As for the pronouns, Conway is the only author I have ever read, magick book or any type of book, that uses pronouns like that, which again, I could easily let go, if most of her examples of how to do the techniques didn't involve an example that uses a cheating husband. I mean, come on!
And there is nothing wrong with female empowerment, but the book I'm talking about is not about that, it is not supposed to be feminist literature. If you want empowerment, check out the V monologues or buy some literature on boosting your confidence as a woman or something. Personally, I read self help books, and those make me feel good. But a book on astral projection should hardly be written with so much distraction and personal agenda on behalf of the author.
For the record, the only thing that sexism is good for, is the same thing that racism is good for: comedy. If we can't laugh at our differences, how can we as a people find common ground?